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Refining 101: Non-Technical

This two-day course is an introduction to the fundamentals of converting various crude oils into the varied petroleum products used in the market place. The processes of separation, conversion, and chemical treatment are explored in a manner that will make sense to the non-engineer. It is important for analysts, schedulers, accountants and those selling to refiners to understand how all the units work and how they are interrelated. Since refineries are about making money, the economic drivers and critical success factors are covered throughout the class.

Full Course Description
  • How the refinery fits into the overall petroleum industry.
  • A discussion of the widely varying crude oils to be processed.
  • Refinery types and complexity.
  • Petroleum chemistry (to the extent needed to understand the units).
  • Methods of separation, concentrating on distillation.
  • Decomposition (cracking) by both thermal and catalytic means.
  • Unification and alteration including alkylation, polymerization, isomerization and catalytic reforming.
  • Chemical treatment (including hydrotreating) and product blending.
  • The economic drivers that determine refinery profitability.

New employees, or those newly assigned to responsibilities in the various aspects of the petroleum industry would find this refining class especially helpful in understanding the role of the various operating units and how these units fit together to efficiently produce a wide array of products. For example, those assigned in upstream, mid-stream, marketing, tax, legal and information technology functions typically have little or no knowledge of the refinery, which is one of the fundamental building blocks of the petroleum industry.

Industry Segment
Course Level
Introductory
CPE Credits
12
EMI Credits
6